Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Procrastination and the struggles it always brings

I am a big procrastinator. I have always been one and it seems that it gets worse (or at least not better) the older I get. Which is weird in a way. Normally I would expect that an individual learns over the years that something as annoying as procrastination (or anything else that is annoying to the respective person) should be avoided because it always makes you rush to keep deadlines, occupies you in a way that you are not able to do anything else until the project is finished, leaving you exhausted and frustrated and makes you do mistakes because you hurry and rush and your concentration goes out of the window.

I know all that but still - I procrastinate. I ask myself frequently why I do it and I just do not know the answer. I mean, it is not that things dissolve into air when you procrastinate them, they are still there, need to be done and as the deadline approaches it becomes a huge struggle. Every. single. time.

I had the problem again last week. I always make photo books of Sunny each year. They are really big (around 260 pages) and contain many, many pictures. It is a lot of work to make them. I also always give away some smaller copies for Christmas. And each year mid-November the company where I order the books has a discount campaign. It is around the same time each year (November 15/16/17) and I know that. But still, I procrastinated even starting the new book (which always contains the pictures from one birthday to the next) for months now because I just could not force myself to do it.

Then, on November 7, I got the annual e-mail announcing the discount campaign. But the discount would only be granted for orders until November 15, as usual. So I had to make this big, huge book within one week. I spent every single minute that I somehow could in front of the software, picking out pictures, thinking about layouts of each page, thinking about things to write to accompany the pictures, arranging everything in a beautiful way, then narrowing down the big book to smaller books for Christmas.... it was a hassle, I was fed up, I was exhausted, there was no more fun in this work that I normally enjoy. Then it was Friday, November 15 and the software did not work and it took hours to submit the data to the company but then the submission stopped right after half of the data was submitted and I would have needed to start it again, knowing that it would not get there in time anymore. I was so frustrated because I had worked tirelessly on the books with the result that I still would not get the discount (which is really a good deal!). And it was all just because of my own stupidity.

On Friday night the company sent out a mail letting everyone know that the campaign would be extended until November 25. I was so relieved. As I looked over the books again in a calmer state I found quite some mistakes and I know that I made them because I was in such a big hurry. Now I am glad to have a bit more time on my hands because I also always order some calendars which I can add to the order now. Last week that just would not have been possible.

I am really done with procrastination. I hope this was the lesson I needed in order to finally get my act together and do the things that I know I will have to do anyway with enough lead time. It will be one of my big goals for 2014 because it just really sucks and takes too much of my time and energy. And if I forget this goal I will come back to this post and read it and hopefully be reminded of the anger and the frustration I felt last week.



9 comments:

  1. Oh poor you! To take something you love and have it be marred by your own procrastination so you cannot even blame anyone else. On the upside you have A LOT going on and are an awesome mamma. The book will be even more beautiful now.

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  2. Oh the joys of procrastination.. I'm glad you got some extra time to complete the book ;-)

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  3. I can relate to this all too well. Sigh. I do it every week and every week, I think "no more!" But then I do. I'm four months behind on doing Tucker's age 3-4 book. I usually do it following his birthday (July). Also - once, my dad gave me an article on procrastination. I never read it. Ever. I eventually threw it out.
    Give yourself a break. Really. Life is busy. And full. And I'm SO glad they extended the deadline for Sunny's book at a discount! I'm sure it will be gorgeous!

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    1. Yes, I normally start after Sunny's birthday in September, too (but honestly, my goal is to start as soon as the latest book is finished and then work on it successively. I will try to do it this time!).

      Sorry, but that thing about the article made me laugh! You know, about a year ago I bought a book about "gettings things done" and I haven't even unwrapped it!!

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  4. I was able to finish the books and the calendars yesterday, I already put the DVD in the mail so I really made it "in time" - thanks for the extended deadline, dear company!

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  5. are you familiar with digital scrapbooking? it might actually be more work in the long run. if that company will allow you to upload a whole page, say an 8x10, you could create an 8x10 layout in photoshop for each occasion throughout the year and then upload it in november at sale time. all of your layout work could be finished well before november rolled around! i was a happy digital scrapbooker, taking pictures all the time, until about the time patty began preschool. then our days became filled with dropping off and picking up and that has snowballed in the years since!

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    1. It is digital scrapbooking that I do. I work with a software on my computer, allowing the preparation of the book in advance. However, it is not possible to upload single pages. I can only upload the complete book.

      But that's not the problem. If I prepared the book in time I had plenty of time to upload it. The problem is that I am too bad at making the book and everything on time!

      I usually do it in the evenings in front of the TV on my laptop (except for last week when I just had to finish it). I neither find the time to do it during the day.

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